New Rasmussen poll has Dino Leading Murray 48% to 47%

Rasmussen released a new poll today in the race between Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and real estate opportunist Dino Rossi. The poll of 750 likely voters, taken on 28 Sept 2010, has Rossi (R) up by 1% (48% to 47%). If we consider this the only poll of relevance, a Monte Carlo analysis can suggest the probability of each candidate winning in a hypothetical election held today. From a million simulated elections of 750 people voting for each candidate probabilistically at the observed frequencies, we find that Murray wins 416,583 times and Rossi wins 573,402 times. That is, the best evidence from this poll suggests that, in an election held today, Murray would win with a 42.1% probability and Rossi would win with a 57.9% probability. Here is the distribution of outcomes from those million simulated elections:


Kind-of scary stuff, huh?

An interesting thing about the Rasmussen poll is that the actual polling work is done by a company called Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. As it happens, this is the same firm that did a FOX News poll just three days earlier. That poll of 1,000 likely voters taken on 25th of September had Murray leading Rossi 48% to 47%. There may some be differences in the likely voter model preferred by Rasmussen and Fox, but such an explanation isn’t really necessary to explain the differences. There is nothing at all inconsistent between the polls. Given the sample sizes, the polls do not really differ. Rather, they suggest that the race is close. We can pool the two polls to get a better idea of the race according to the methods used by Pulse Opinion Research. A Monte Carlo analysis using a sample size of 1,750 “voters” and pooled candidate preference percentages gives Murray 513,406 wins to Rossi’s 479,748 wins. In other words, the two polls taken by Pulse some three days apart suggests that, in an election held over the past week or so, Murray would win with a 51.7% probability.

But why restrict ourselves to a single pollster? In the past two weeks, there were four polls taken. The earlier two polls were by Survey USA giving Murray a 50% to 48% lead over Rossi in a sample of 609 likely voters taken from 19-21 Sept, and an earlier Rasmussen poll (750 likely voters) taken on 14th Sept, showing Murray leading Rossi 51% to 46%. When we pool these four polls, we get a respectable sample size of 3,109 individuals of which 2,987 went for either Murray or Rossi. Of these, 1,520 ( 48.9%) were for Murray and 1,467 ( 47.2%) were for Rossi. After a million simulated elections, Murray won 743,815 times and Rossi won 251,927 times. In other words, the combined evidence from four polls taken by two polling firms over the past two weeks suggests that Murray has a 74.7% probability of beating Rossi.


Does this reflect a decline in Murray’s support? I think it does a little. As this graph shows, the four most recent polls all fall within each other’s margin of error:


But the next two earlier polls, by CNN/Time/Opinion Research and Elway showed a significantly better lead for Murray than this most recent poll does, suggesting that there has been a real decline for Murray from a month ago. Alternatively, it could be just bad luck of the draw in Rasmussen’s most recent poll, since other than the most recent poll, all of the previous five polls fall within each others margins of error. So which is it? Hey…I report, you decide.


  1. 1

    ld spews:

    I my home budget or any business in America for that matter were spent like She has been spending in DC, We’d be filing bankruptcy Chapter 7.

    It’s no wonder the Democrats are in big trouble come November.

    Go Rossi! and to H with I 1098

  2. 5

    manoftruth spews:

    nothing like a little spin. but…i bet in your teaching career, you are unbiased. i’m sure yoiur classroom doesnt have the aura of a cambodian reeducation keep.

  3. 6

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Hey Darryl!
    Do you think her aides unethical behavior and the article in the Times about it will help? Dumbest Senator Murray has no control over her unethical aides!
    This won’t help.
    It is what really pisses Real Americans off!


    Nice to see the Times busting her cellulite-riddled derriere. We need to demand her health records and start with making sure she has a brain.

  4. 7

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Just a reminder of a few of the HA Regulars predictions–

    107. Michael spews:
    @105, 106
    Murray was a shoe in for the primary. People weren’t very motivated to vote for her, where they were very motivated to vote for Didier. Murray will pull off a win by 8-12% this time around. Personally, I’m still inclined to think she’ll be closer to 12% than 8%.
    08/20/2010 at 3:55 pm

    108. Rujax! spews:
    “thejesus’ownbutthole…mr.cynical” forgets (surprising no one) that Washington voters do not like or trust the slimy real estate speculator the r’s have hitched their horse to.
    He just don’t wear well buddy…and Murray’s done too much for too many folks in this state.
    No go, joe…I say 12-15%.
    08/20/2010 at 4:29 pm

    110. Mr. Cynical spews:
    Michael Says Murray by 12 points.
    Rujax Says Murray by 12-15 points.
    I’ll copy your predictions and dredge them up election night.
    I say it will be too close to call Election Night…..
    Right now I lean toward Murray winning a squeaker (less than 1 point)
    08/20/2010 at 5:05 pm

    120. N in Seattle spews:
    Cynical @110:
    Copy mine too, schmuck.
    There are only two questions in the Murray-Rossi race:
    a) is Joel Connelly correct that this will be WA’s closest Senate race since Cantwell ousted Gorton in 2000?
    b) will Patty’s margin reach double-figures?
    I say yes and yes.

  5. 9

    Right Stuff spews:

    One things for certain. There is going to be some serious coin dropped on this race in the next 30 days.

    This race is very very close.

  6. 10

    John425 spews:

    The reason this race is so tight in “blue” Washington is that the more the voters actually see and hear Patty Murray, the more they are convinced she is as dumb as a fucking carrot.

  7. 11

    headless lucy spews:

    Well ‘man’o’truth’, Rossi is a real estate opportunist. His mentor is a convicted criminal and Rossi preys upon the unfortunate to line his own pockets.

    That’s who we’re talking about: Rossi. No one else. So stick to the topic. Make an argument that Rossi is NOT a real estate opportunist.

    Betch can’t.

  8. 12

    headless lucy spews:

    The Wall Street Journal said the other day that according to polls, the Democrats are three points behind the Republicans — Only thing is, a month ago they were 9 points behind.

    Your support is cracking right under your self-satisfied asses.

    AND — the 10/30/10 meeting of normal people under the aegis of Jon Stewart (the best journalist in America) will be so huge, it will knock your socks off.

    As Leslie Gore said, “You Don’t Own Me”.

  9. 14

    headless lucy spews:

    10/30/10 — Gee, that’s a few days before the election.

    Are you wingnuts still against voting by mail?

  10. 15

    headless lucy spews:

    Every Republican that watches (heh) sports knows that you don’t want to peak too soon.

    Or, do you?

  11. 16

    uptown spews:

    So how many of these polls call folks on cellphones? If the answer is still none, they are basically worthless.

  12. 17

    busdrivermike spews:

    Murray will win by 6 points. The Republicants have no credibility on deficit issues among voters. Now that the Tea Party has become synonymous with the Republicant Party, it will only energize independent voters to vote for Murray.

  13. 18

    manoftruth spews:

    That’s who we’re talking about: Rossi. No one else. So stick to the topic. Make an argument that Rossi is NOT a real estate opportunist.

    head, thats not my point. it was how daryk makes the laughable slur of oportunist. you can put an adjective in front of any pols name, thats why i mentioned clinton and rangal. using daryls logic (if there is such a thing), everytime you write about a pol,you could preface his name with his critics claims.
    you say he made money off of other peoples misfortunes. name a rich person who has not. the dems have more than their fair share of crooks. if want, we can throw them out from both parties.

  14. 19

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    11. headless lucy spews:

    Well ‘man’o’truth’, Rossi is a real estate opportunist. His mentor is a convicted criminal and Rossi preys upon the unfortunate to line his own pockets.

    That’s who we’re talking about: Rossi. No one else. So stick to the topic. Make an argument that Rossi is NOT a real estate opportunist.

    What does that have to do with Murray’s long string of deficit increasing votes?
    What matters is her RECORD…her VOTING record and what Rossi would have done differently.

    Would his Aides be crooks like Murray’s actually were?
    The Times BUSTED her sorry ass.
    Will this article help her election prospects dickhead?


    Rossi will crush her with this story.

  15. 20


    Goldy, what is wrong with these righties here?

    Let’s look at what busted the budget, and drove up the debt. The votes Murray took when Clinton was president actually reduced the debt. So on to Bush, and the 12 years of total Republican control when the national debt exploded and Patty Murray’s votes.

    Bush’s 2 Tax Cuts For The Rich = Murray = No
    Iraq War Authorization = Murray = No
    Medicare Part D = Murray = No

    So it seems that the things that increased the debt the most Murray voted against. Every single one. Reality. Bingo. Yahtzee. Gooooooooooooooooooal!

    The problem with right wing lying lunatics is the fact that facts mean nothing to them. They live in their own fantasy world where they can say and think what they want, and reality can’t touch them. Reason doesn’t work, Reagan was a God, and giving billionaires tax breaks helps poor people that are being made homeless by a Wall Street that was de-regulated, and unpoliced.

    All facts support my positions. I doubt a single fact will ever support anything cynical or manoftruth (truth haha) says.